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Construction Industry to Build Online Exchange

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Keen to create a one-stop-shop for their industry, ten Australian construction companies have partnered and enlisted Andersen Consulting and Deutsche Bank to explore developing an e-commerce exchange.

The consortium has so far established a steering committee to pursue the logistics of the proposed Construction Industry Trading Exchange, which the companies envision as a source from which industry members can procure goods and services and manage their projects.

The organizations involved in the initiative span various areas within the construction industry, and include Barclay Mowlem, Baulderstone Hornibrook, Clough Engineering, Henry Walker Eltin, John Holland, Leighton Contractors, Leighton Holdings, Thiess, Transfield Group and Walter Construction.

Steering Committee chairman Bill West, who is from Leighton Holdings, said the companies have aligned in the hope of ensuring a more certain foundation and future for the exchange.

"By world standards, the Australian construction industry is relatively small, so to capitalize on the potential benefits it is imperative that we cooperate and ensure that the exchange is accessible to the whole industry," he said.

As well as the input from the ten primary committee member companies, the consortium will establish an advisory board for suppliers, subcontractor representatives and other industry members, to gain input in the project from their perspective.

"The goal is to create an open neutral exchange that adds value for all participants in the industry via a Web-enabled re-engineering of the project delivery process," said West. "It has the potential to revolutionize the way we do business in Australia and provide substantial savings."

The committee is currently wading through a feasibility study, that includes deciding on the business model, platform and technology to adopt.